Across the region, offices working with youth have joined together to expand Peace by Piece (PxP), a program collective designed to spread the meaningful youth work currently being done in the south. By tapping into successful initiatives tested in New Orleans, and shaping new groups of young people who are involved in their respective communities elsewhere, AFSC is working to develop a strong platform for tackling social issues regionwide.
In January, AFSC staff and youth from across the South Region led protests and a national panel discussion to confront the issue of police violence and militarization in the United States.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday served as the launch date for SOAR (South Organizing Against Racism), which inspired youth-led events in over 15 cities including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Greensboro, Miami and New Orleans.
The McKenna Museum of African American Art in New Orleans was the setting for the 2015 Designing Our Freedom Event, Healing Through the Arts. This year more than 20 young artists from Dillard University and several high schools and middle schools from around the city participated in the event.
Instead of holding AFSC's traditional t-shirt and hoody themed fashion show, New Orleans participants opted to broaden the use of art and let young people express themselves through several modes of creativity.
For the past three years, New Orleans has seen a decline in the city’s murder rate for the first time in almost 30 years. Sources credit social programs, changes in ER procedures, a gang task force, effective prosecutions and a variety of other factors for the three-year decline. Despite the dip, the city’s murder rate still remains above the national average according to nola.com.
A sense of rebirth and renewal is spreading throughout the South Region under the dynamic new leadership of Kamau Franklin. Kamau, a civil rights attorney who was named regional director in April, brings to AFSC his rich background in organizing at the grassroots level around issues of racial justice and civic engagement. He shares his vision for the region here.
“Why is there poverty in the same country that is also called the most obese country in the world? I say, “because it’s no longer one for all and all for one.” It’s all about “me, myself and I!” We need to stop oppressing each other and start practicing Ubuntu(OO-BOON-TOO), which is an South African word that means “I am because we are.” When one of us suffers then we all suffer.
The sweet tension of waiting for people to arrive combined with the multiple colored lights filling the room, a dream of cold extremities coursing with adrenaline. I, as the door person watching the welcome table, got to say hello to most of the people to the event hopefully making a positive first impression. From my vantage point near the door I’m torn as to what might have been my most memorable experience.
The “29th Annual National “Night Out Against Crime” was held on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 from 5:30-7:30pm for neighborhoods throughout the Greater New Orleans Area. The American Friends Service Committee partnered with A Desire For Change community group to host our “Night Out Against Crime” at the Sampson Park in the 9th Ward Neighborhood to celebrate a commitment to peace in our communities.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.